The Excellent West Side Restaurant Vancouver Somehow Let Slip Away

The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the countless, long-shuttered establishments that helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!

The West Side’s DB Bistro Moderne was the surprisingly short-lived casual fine dining cousin of the New York original. It saw international superstar chef Daniel Boulud pair up with David and Manjy Sidoo after their falling out with chef Rob Feenie. Some background from designer Janson Goldstein’s website:

“The bar area features herringbone travertine flooring, a zinc bar top and, behind the bar, woven, polished stainless-steel surfaces framed in red eel skin. Custom handcrafted glass pendants, based on a 1960s Italian design, illuminate the space. Beyond a screen of saw-tooth-textured bronze glass, rolled-steel channeled fixtures illuminate the dining room, where custom-designed distressed oak-and-ox blood leather chairs complement banquets in chocolate-brown- and copper-colored woven leather. A private dining-and-wine room presents oil-quenched-steel wine racks and a wall covered in rich red- and brown-leather tiles.”

Located in the old Feenie’s address at 2563 West Broadway, the slick 106 seater launched in the midst of the 2008 global financial crisis; its unfortunate timing was complicated further by the advent of a new tax (HST) and the rollout of stricter drunk driving laws that scared diners. Though it met with some critical success it never really found its footing with Vancouver diners, some of whom loudly sided with Feenie in the and swore to avoid it.

It closed in 2011 to the frustration of many, including Globe & Mail food writer Alexandra Gill, who memorably (and accurately) lamented its demise thusly:

“This is excellent, innovative, labour intensive and lusciously layered food that is in a different – world-class – league from the standard fare at any other French bistro in town. If Vancouver couldn’t recognize that, we don’t deserve it.”

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There are 3 comments

  1. the $$$ burger with foie gras option (iirc) was pretty gimmicky, but they had a cardamom ice cream as part of some dessert that was to die for

  2. Well Kidsbooks moved next door and there are lineups to the adjoining Thomas Haas chocolatier, so as one ‘good’ resto goes, other useful retail comes in

    And Vancouver is only deserving of its glorious future, as foretold in the 1993 film “Demolition Man”, where the only gourmet food is Taco Bell chains.

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